President Saakashvili met Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Moana Carcasses Kalosil, in Thai city of Chiang Mai on a sideline of the Asia-Pacific Water Summit and thanked him for his government’s decision to retract recognition of breakaway Abkhazia.
There has been confusion and uncertainty over recognition of Abkhazia by this small island state in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean.
Vanuatu recognized Abkhazia in May, 2011 but retracted its recognition shortly after change of government in early June, 2011; but then one local official reportedly reaffirmed the recognition. However, in late June 2011 Vanuatu was among those nations who voted in favor of Georgia-sponsored and Russian-opposed resolution in the UN General Assembly reaffirming right of IDPs to return to Abkhazia and South Ossetia. But in April, 2012 Russia was listing Vanuatu among those countries, which were recognizing Abkhazia.
In March, 2013 Vanuatu’s Foreign Ministry denied setting up of diplomatic ties with Abkhazia.
Moana Carcasses Kalosil, who became Vanuatu’s PM in March 2013, told President Saakashvili that when the issue of Abkhazia was put before the previous government in which he was the finance minister in 2011, he was against of recognizing this breakaway region and the government was divided on the issue.
“This is the first precedent when Russia suffered a very serious defeat on the diplomatic front and I am sure that’s not the last one,” Saakashvili said after the meeting with Vanuatu’s PM, adding that it was made possible through Georgia’s active diplomatic efforts and strong Western support to Georgia.
“Time will come when Russia too will retreat from this recognition [of Abkhazia and South Ossetia]; I am absolutely sure about that,” Saakashvili said.
Apart of Russia, Georgia’s breakaway regions’ have been recognized by Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nauru and Tuvalu.
On the sideline of the second Asia-Pacific Water Summit, President Saakashvili also met Thailand’s PM Yingluck Shinawatra; Laos PM Thongsing Thammavong; PM of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina; Vice President of Myanmar Sai Mauk Kham; Vice-President and Head of Iran's Department of Environment Mohammad Javad Mohammadizadeh, according to the Georgian President’s administration.